Not long to wait…
Soon after the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement was announced last year, like an over-excited bunch of aunties our thoughts turned to the question of who will be the Meghan Markle wedding dress designer of choice.
Any hints from the Royal camp? Not a whisper, obviously. Just as Meghan’s future sister-in-law Kate Middleton’s lace Alexander McQueen dress was kept under wraps until the moment she stepped out of the car on her wedding to Prince William in April 2011, The Dress remains a secret.
But we can always have an educated guess, can’t we? On the eve of the royal wedding, here’s what we think:
Who will be the Meghan Markle wedding dress designer?
Unlike Kate, this is not Meghan’s first rodeo. In 2011 she married film producer Trevor Engelson in Jamaica in a simple white strapless wedding dress, and like a lot of second-time brides she’ll probably have a clear idea of what she wants (and doesn’t want).
Marie Claire’s fashion features director Jess Wood hopes she’ll go for something a bit different: ‘A divorcee, an actress, her mixed heritage… Meghan is already breaking the British royal bride mould in so many ways, it would be great to see her choose a ground-breaking dress too. Her style is simple and unfussy, and her figure is much more ‘va va voom’ than Kate’s – she could carry off something really sleek and minimal, with a lower neckline. I’d love to see her in an avant-garde design by Viktor & Rolf (who’ve just launched bridalwear) or a bias-cut slip dress, a la Carolyne Bessette Kennedy. I have a feeling she’ll opt for something more traditional in the end. But wouldn’t a white tux suit like Bianca Jagger be the ultimate?’
Ribbon Bow Back Dress, Buy Now at Viktor and Rolf
But if traditional is the order of the day for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding – who will be designing the dress? Here’s a few (educated) guesses…
There are several reasons why Erdem feels like the obvious choice: Markle is a longtime fan of Moralioglu, referring to him in a Vanity Fair interview as ‘a fashion designer I’ve worn for years.’ As a British-based Canadian designer, Erdem would make a great symbolic transatlantic choice for Meghan, and the designer’s style – big on embellishment – would be a marked contrast to the simple number she wore to her first wedding. And for someone who’s a big fan of Erdem, she also hasn’t been spotted in a design of his since the couple got engaged…
ERDEM Scarlet floral-embroidered silk-organza gown, Buy now £5,460 at MatchesFashion.com
Erdem feels like a particularly topical choice, given his most recent mainline and H&M collections went big on gorgeous 1950s ballgowns that wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of The Crown. Does he know something we don’t?
How likely is that the Meghan Markle wedding dress designer will be Erdem? Pretty likely, if you ask us…
Ralph & Russo
The British couture house would be a wonderful choice for Meghan’s wedding dress – high on fairytale drama and exquisite embellishment. She’d be in very safe (and familiar) hands – she wore a gorgeous Ralph & Russo cocktail gown in her engagement shoot with Prince Harry.
How likely is it that the Meghan Markle wedding dress designer will be Ralph & Russo? We’d say very likely, but for the fact that she wore R&R in her engagement photo – though it could always be a clever double bluff…
Markle also loves the British-born fashion designer Antonio Berardi. She wore a double-breasted navy number from his Resort 2017 collection to the Polo earlier this year, and Berardi’s knack for a beautifully sculpted silhouette would make him a strong choice for her wedding dress.
ANTONIO BERARDI rhinestone embellished gown, £4,058 at Farfetch
How likely is that the Meghan Markle wedding dress designer will be Antonio Berardi? Reasonably likely
No, the young avant-garde British designer wouldn’t have occurred to us before either. But then the Queen turned up unannounced to sit front row at his AW2018 catwalk show, before presenting Quinn with the first Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. On the final, slightly jaded day of London Fashion Week, an astonished audience of fashion editors thought they might be seeing things.
Is he for Meghan, though? It would be a very cool twist in the tale if he was. And a helluva career opener for Quinn – he’d also be on a roll after dressing Amal for the Met Gala.
Richard Quinn off-the-shoulder floral print duchess satin dress, buy now £3920, Matches Fashion
How likely is it that the Meghan Markle wedding dress designer will be Richard Quinn? An outside bet, but why not?
If Meghan decides to plump for an school British label when she marries Harry, Burberry could also be on her list. She has worn the label lots of times before and she’d certainly be in safe hands with a bespoke dress from the brand. The only snag: mother-of-the bride Doria Radlan has been spotted in recent weeks with a Burberry dress carrier. Though they could be going for a team look?
Burberry Silk Shift Dress with Detachable Paillette Cape, Buy Now £3,995
How likely is that the Meghan Markle wedding dress designer will be Burberry? We think not as likely as Erdem or Berardi
Could the wife of Harry’s old pal David Beckham step up to the plate? We think VB would be more than happy to seal her reputation as one of Britain’s fashion stars with a royal wedding. But would Meghan be up for it? ‘I love Victoria Beckham dresses, but don’t have the long torso to support that silhouette’ she told Glamour last year. But given the strong relationship between Harry and the Beckhams, could Victoria change Meghan’s mind?
Victoria Beckham 3/4 Sleeve Panelled Midi, Buy Now £1,490
How much would a Stella dress suit Meghan? The elegant, fuss-free DNA of the McCartney brand fits so well with her sleek American power wardrobe. Also, check out this look from Stella’s most recent show. Is she warming up?
How likely is it that the Meghan Markle wedding dress will be Stella? Reasonably likely – though if she goes for two dresses she might make McCartney her ‘going away’ look instead.
With all eyes on her – a daunting prospect even for a seasoned actress – Markle might decide to pick a trusted friend to design her dress. If she does, a shoo-in would be her old buddy Misha Nonoo, who until recently was married to one of Harry’s old friends, Alexander Gilkes.
MISHA NONOO Corinna dress, Buy Now £344 on FARFETCH
How likely is that the Meghan Markle wedding dress designer will be Misha Nonoo? Fairly likely – like McCartney, if not for the main ceremony Meghan could support her friend by doing a Kate and changing into something sleeker by the designer for the evening party.
And just one more for lolz…
When Meghan’s Suits character Rachel Zane almost marries Mike, she opts for a dreamy Anne Barge wedding dress fit for a princess. The dress in question is the bridal designer’s Versailles gown from the Spring 2016 collection, and features a full tulle skirt, embellished neckline and lace insert back.
Buy Now From Anne Barge
How likely is that the Meghan Markle wedding dress designer will be Anne Barge? To be honest, probably unlikely. That said, it was a stunning dress which suited Meghan perfectly, and it’s worth remembering Grace Kelly chose Helen Rose, MGM Studios’ costume designer, to create her wedding dress when she married Prince Rainer. So you never know.